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How to Stake Crypto For Passive Income

10 mins
Updated by Ish Bautista
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Since Bitcoin’s inception over a decade ago, it introduced a decentralized consensus mechanism to validate transactions without centralized entities like banks, using proof-of-work. However, as of 2023, proof-of-work is gradually becoming outdated due to the centralization of mining hardware and pools, advances in computing, and escalating power needs. The emerging alternative, proof-of-stake, secures the network and achieves consensus by requiring validators to stake assets, ensuring they have a vested interest in the network’s integrity.

How does staking work?

To understand staking there must be a little knowledge of proof-of-work (PoW) and mining, which is the most popular consensus mechanism for the majority of blockchains at the moment.

To achieve consensus and validate the next block on the blockchain, computer hardware must complete specific computational tasks. In the realm of DeFi and blockchain technology, the reward for this work is a portion of the cryptocurrency that is being mined or processed.

staking crypto
PoW vs PoS – Blockgeeks

Proof-of-stake (PoS) replaces this power-hungry, number crunching process with rewards issued for assets staked on the network. This incentivizes coin holders to stake them, as it is in their interest that the network is healthy and transactions can be validated quickly and efficiently.

PoS also helps security by creating a ‘wall of value’ against would-be attackers, with the size and strength of this wall coming from the amount and value of tokens that make it up.

Usually, stakers that pledge larger quantities of coins have a higher chance of being chosen as the next block validator and receiving the associated rewards. This could cause concerns of centralization as the whales profit more than the average person and have greater control of the network.

The staking process can be as simple as just transferring the crypto coin of choice from the exchange to its associated wallet and letting the assets start earning. Many exchanges now offer staking services but caution must be taken as some of them take a hefty cut of the rewards for the privilege.

What is delegated proof-of-stake?

There is another consensus algorithm called delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) which has been considered as a more democratic method of staking. The mechanism works using a voting system whereby stakeholders outsource their work to third parties or vote for a few delegates that will secure the network on their behalf. Block producers are elected using this method, so they will be motivated to be honest and efficient, else they may get voted out.

crypto staking platforms percentage hand

Advantages and disadvantages of staking

There are several benefits to staking within the crypto community, especially in the DeFi space, but as with any investment, it comes with its drawbacks. When considering staking as a method to earn rewards, it’s important to weigh out these factors:

Staking advantages

  • Uses way less electricity and physical resources than mining
  • Security is improved as stakeholders have a vested interest in network health
  • Blockchains using PoS are much faster and can scale quicker
  • Easier source of passive income without spending a lot on mining equipment
  • Double earning potential if token prices increase
  • Staking pools can help coin holders merge resources to increase chances of validating blocks and receiving rewards
  • No need to have any trading experience or knowledge

Staking disadvantages

  • Possible centralization as whales holding a lot of tokens may have more influence over the network
  • Crypto prices are still volatile so staked assets could depreciate
  • Staking with some coins may require them to be locked up for set periods

Best coins to stake in 2023

The number of crypto assets with staking protocols is rapidly rising. Just a few years ago nearly every blockchain was operating on PoW, but with increasing environmental pressure, scaling limitations, and security concerns, PoS is becoming more popular.

Mining is highly competitive, centralized by geography and mining pools, and requires a lot of investment and the sourcing of cheap power. Staking has none of these drawbacks, so it is becoming the standard for crypto consensus models.

As of 2023, Ethereum has completed its transition from proof-of-work (PoW) in ETH 1.0 to proof-of-stake (PoS) in ETH 2.0, through its Serenity upgrade. Initially, the first phase of this upgrade was tested on a testnet with expectations of launching staking opportunities by the end of 2020. This significant shift has now been realized, marking a new era for Ethereum in terms of scalability, security, and energy efficiency.

Ethereum is the world’s largest and most popular smart contract and decentralized application platform, so it is likely to be one of the top assets for staking when it is finally launched.

staking coins
Popular PoS crypto assets

Other popular altcoins for staking include EOS, Tezos, Tron, Cosmos, NEO, VeChain, Ark, Lisk, Loom, Decred, Stratis, ICON, Qtum, PivX plus a few other low cap coins. This article will explore staking the most popular ones below.

Ethereum staking and rewards

Proportion of staked ETH by entity: CoinTelegraph
Proportion of staked ETH by entity: CoinTelegraph

“Staking is a really important innovation in crypto. It allows users to participate directly in running open crypto networks. Staking brings many positive improvements to the space, including scalability, increased security, and reduced carbon footprints.”

@brian_armstrong on X

Staking rewards are the incentive for people to pledge their Ethereum to the network, it is a payment in ETH for every successful block validated. Estimates of possible payouts are as follows. Major exchanges will likely offer Ethereum staking services, for a cut of course. Staking pools are also likely to become available for those that do not have the full 32 ETH in order to participate on their own.

Altcoin staking

Since Ethereum staking is still a few months away, there are opportunities to earn rewards staking other altcoins. Some are rapidly growing in popularity which has been reflected in steady price increases. Below is a brief introduction to the most popular staking coins at the moment.

Tezos (XTZ) Staking/Baking
Tezos is probably the most popular altcoin for staking at the time of writing. It has also been one of the best-performing ones in terms of token price for the past year or so. Tezos uses a process called ‘baking’ which, according to the official website, is the act of signing and publishing blocks to the Tezos blockchain. Bakers ensure that all transactions in a block are correct, that the order of transactions is agreed upon, and that no double-spending has occurred.

Tezos price prediction

The process appears quite complex and has a lot of terminologies to overcome, a comprehensive guide has been written here. To make things easier, the major exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance, offer XTZ staking services for those without the technical knowhow – but as usual they will take a slice of the rewards. Delegating a ‘baker’ is also an option to earn from staked Tezos tokens and there are a number of ‘baking pools’ available.

EOS staking
EOS has come under fire recently and has largely fallen out of favor due to centralization issues arising from its structure and delegated PoS system. Staking EOS is possible for individuals as it uses computing resources and bandwidth. Staking tokens increases the two recourses called CPU and NET limits that are required to perform actions on the EOS blockchain. As with other tokens, exchanges are offering staking services using their resources instead of the holders.

eos crypto cover buy staking

Tron Staking
Tron also uses DPoS but instead of ‘bakers’ it has something called Super Representatives (SR) which are obligated to produce blocks and record transactions and in return, receive corresponding votes and block production rewards. The process is similar whereby tokens are loaded and locked into the relevant wallet, and a validator is selected in return for rewards for the stake.

NEO Staking
NEO has often been referred to as the ‘Chinese Ethereum’. It shares similarities with its big brother being a smart contract and dApp platform that also offers staking opportunities. The NEO network runs on a sister token called GAS which can be earnt just by holding NEO tokens. One they are deposited in a staking capable wallet, the earnings are automatically received in GAS. The difference is that it does not use computer resources, and there is no minimum amount to enable earnings.

VeChain Staking
VET is another token that can be staked for rewards, and the system is similar to that with others that need to simply be deposited in their corresponding wallet. VeChain (VET) works as a payment currency for business activities and VeThor (VTHO) is used as a fee for smart contract execution and network activity, similar to gas. VTHO is the staking reward for holding VET.

Staking on exchanges

Not everyone is comfortable with crypto transactions, wallet management, and keeping their own private keys secure, so exchanges can offer these services. The major exchanges listed below offer staking services for various crypto assets, however, some only support their partnered projects, while others have a wider range.

All will take a cut of the staking reward for providing the service. This is where shopping around can help as the staking fees range from zero to as much as 25% on Coinbase. Binance currently offers the greatest range with 23 crypto assets available for staking with annual yields ranging from 1% to 16%.

There are also a number of newly launched staking providers that provide similar services to the major exchanges. Stake Capital, Stake.Fish, Staked, and Stakinglab are among them.

Staking pools

Another option for earning passive income from staking crypto is to join a staking pool. These allow token holders to join together to combine computing resources in order to increase their chances of receiving the block rewards.

The concept is similar to a traditional mining pool operating on a shared resource principle. A pool manager will be in charge of the specific pool, and stakers will be able to join to collaborate with others seeking the same goal, a greater chance of winning the reward.

Staking pools often yield smaller and more frequent payouts as the reward must be divided by among the many participants of the pool. Additionally, most pools will charge a fee or cut of the overall staking reward just as the exchanges do but they also remove the technical hurdles that some may not be comfortable with.

Staking wallets

Most PoS crypto tokens have their own dedicated staking wallet, however, there are a number of options that support multiple coins.

  • Atomic Wallet supports most of the top stakable tokens including Tezos, Tron, NEO, Cosmos, VeChain, and Cardano. It claims to offer zero-fee decentralized staking.
atomic wallet
  • Alternatively there is Trust Wallet which is a similar platform also offering a range of PoS tokens including Tezos, Tron, Cosmos, VeChain, and Algorand.

Should you start staking?

Yes, you should consider starting staking. Staking offers a way to earn passive income by participating in a blockchain network, especially in proof-of-stake systems. While not all PoS coins support cold or offline staking, hardware wallets like Ledger provide platforms for staking various cryptocurrencies. Most coin wallets also feature staking calculators, allowing you to estimate returns based on the amount and duration of your stake.

As staking becomes more popular, the availability of resources for finding the best coins to stake, as well as the most favorable rates and providers, is increasing. These tools can help you make informed decisions and maximize your staking returns, making it a potentially worthwhile venture in the world of cryptocurrency.

Frequently asked questions

What is crypto staking?

How does staking work?

What are the benefits and risks of staking?

What are staking pools?

Which major exchanges offer staking services?

What are some popular altcoins for staking?

How much does Binance pay for staking?

Which crypto to buy to become a millionaire?

How does delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) work?

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...